Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Childhood Obsessions

We adults like to think that we are above childhood pursuits and ways of thinking, but I think that instead of outgrowing those things we just reclassify those things we loved in our minds as grown up things and just classify the things we didn't like so much as childish.

Until I was in second grade we lived upstairs from my paternal grandparents. Our apartment had two bedrooms and I had two siblings. Having us always underfoot probably drove my mother to distraction, but I learned to find time to myself by tucking myself into a corner with a book or playing in the basement where a large selection of old Reader's Digests provided unlimited entertainment.  I was an early reader and picked up anything with words in a row. Grandma had a piano and the sheet music in the piano bench as endlessly absorbing. Her active social schedule left me plenty of time to poke through her cupboards and closets with impunity. Once I even ate the pie she had set aside for her bridge club. I was a dreadfully honest child and left her a note in case there was any doubt who had done the evil deed.

While we lived there I had my first lessons in making things - sewing cards, and then embroidery. Dresser scarves were still common and we embellished ours and our pillowcases with embroidery. My mother embroidered a beautiful luncheon set of tablecloth and napkins that I still remember with pleasure.

I had my first lessons in cooking in that kitchen, learning the basics of heating up cann
ed soup and making simple dishes in the electric frying pan without burning myself. That electric frying pan served us well for many years.

I learned to ride a bicycle there, practicing on the neighbor girls new bike. I did not have one of my own yet, but the neighbor was generous enough to let me learn. We had a scooter and a selection of trikes for our own use that lived in the basement.

Both of my grandfathers were gardeners and I had my first lessons in gardening from my dad's father. The sound of baseball on the radio in the garden still brings me back to those days. I loved being outside prowling around that big yard and around the neighborhood. Most of the lots on that part of the block were very deep and featured big veggie gardens with compost heaps, fruit tress, old orchards and little wooded areas. One neighbor even had a goat.

Time has passed and my life has taken a lot of turns, but the things I loved as a child are still the things that I love and the hobbies I still enjoy. I am still dreadfully honest and tend to say what I think much more often than is socially acceptable. Sorry Mom!

 I'm pulling random pictures from my archives (a fancy word for "on my computer"). I take a lot of pictures and since I am posting frequently I feel free to feature some nice ones that I think I may not have posted before even though they have nothing to do with the post.Click on them to make them bigger; if you want to see more follow the link to my Flickr gallery. And a random entertainment from the Tonight Show.

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